Haskell Indian Nations University entrance sign
Garrett Williams is a senior in environmental science at Haskell Indian Nations University. (Photo provided via Wikimedia Commons)

Sixteen undergraduate students, including Philomath High graduate Garrett Williams, were honored for their scientific research presentations at the 20th annual Kansas IDeA (Institutional Development Awards) Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE) Symposium during a virtual presentation on Jan. 13-14.

The annual symposium is part of the K-INBRE initiative to prepare promising university students for careers in bioscience careers in Kansas. Ten campuses in Kansas and Oklahoma participate in the collaborative network that is led by the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Williams, a senior in environmental science at Haskell Indian Nations University, graduated with Philomath High’s Class of 2017. Williams had a poster presentation entitled “Community Based Research: Camera Trapping of Vertebrates in the Haskell Wetlands Reveals the Return of River Otters (Lontra canadensis).”

The top presentations earned cash prizes for the students.

“One of our program focuses is to provide training and professional development opportunities to students with promising careers as biomedical researchers,” Doug Wright, principal investigator for K-INBRE and professor and vice chair in the departments of anatomy and cell biology and anesthesiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, said in a press release. “Participating in the continued growth of the biosciences in Kansas is important to the K-INBRE. The annual symposium is a great opportunity for our students, young faculty, and established researchers to showcase their research and developments in the field.”

The program provides opportunities for students to work in laboratories or in their communities developing research projects under the guidance of seasoned mentors. The opportunities give students the tools and guidance to better inform their future career choices in the biomedical sciences.

Although the symposium was presented virtually this year, more than 60 posters were presented live by students at various campuses in Kansas and Oklahoma. In addition, six students presented orally along with faculty and industry speakers.